Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced May 17 that his One City, One Hire program had connected 3,000 District residents with jobs; nearly a third of the way to the program’s goal of finding employment for 10,000 previously unemployed District residents .

Approximately 40 percent of the hires are from Wards 5, 7 and 8, where unemployment in the District is highest. According to the District’s Department of Employment Services, Ward 8 has the highest rate of unemployment at 24.2 percent, followed by Ward 7 at 16.3 percent and Ward 5 at 13.3, all slightly lower than March 2011 when the rates were 24.8, 16.7 and 13.7, respectively.

“When I took office, I promised to do all that I could to get District residents back to work and connecting more than 3,000 previously unemployed people with jobs is an important step toward that goal,” Gray said. “I want to commend our 600-plus One City, One Hire employer partners who have committed to work closely with the District government to help find sustainable employment for thousands of unemployed District residents.”

The program offers assistance to job-seekers as well as incentives to employers, including tax credits, On-the-Job Training wage reimbursements to train and hire unemployed District residents, screening and other assistance. The program is administered through the Department of Employment Services.

Michael N. Harreld, PNC Bank’s Regional President said, “We were delighted to join the Mayor’s initiative, and we have been pleased with our partnership and the screening process that helps us identify potential job candidates.”

Since Gray announced the new local On-the-Job program in March, 33 businesses have signed up for the program.

District residents now employed through One City, One Hire are working in diverse industries and occupations, from entry-level to management positions, including accountants, health-care practitioners and home health aides, security guards, retail managers and sales clerks, and office and administrative support personnel.

“We’re also planning another Path2Work Symposium specifically for District youth between 18 and 21 to pre-screen and match qualified young people with employers that have job openings to fill,” said Employment Services Director Lisa Maria Mallory. “Many of these individuals are single parents and need more than a six-week summer stipend. They need real jobs.”